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September 2018

Getting Ready for Red

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Almost ready!  Rehearsals are well underway for our new production of John Logan’s Tony Award winning play. It’s the first show fully produced by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, and first on the intimate Bankhead stage-on-stage.  Placing the actors and audience in such close proximity will offer a richer experience of this play’s compelling and dramatic power.  Directed by Misty Megia, “Red” stars Harvey T. Jordan as abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko and Michael P. McDonald as Rothko’s young assistant Ken. Watch the cast interview video and hear about Michael’s long journey to the role of Ken and the insights Harvey has gained on Rothko’s art and life as he returns to the role after six years.

Then get your tickets NOW — seating is very limited — you don’t want to miss this show!


Winner of the 2010 Tony Award, “Red” captures a pivotal period in Rothko’s tumultuous career. The play provides a compelling view into the artist’s mind as he broods over his artistic legacy, even as he works on a notable new commission. Set in the late 1950s, “Red” is based on a true event. Rothko was asked to create a set of large murals for the new Four Seasons restaurant in New York. He hires a new assistant to help him, an aspiring artist eager to learn from a master but who also represents the emergence of a new generation in modern art. While they work side-by-side, the two challenge each other over their divergent styles, musical taste, philosophies and attitudes. The play debuted in London before transferring to Broadway and has been seen in multiple productions, including an acclaimed recent revival in London’s West End with Alfred Molina (Rothko) returning to the role he originated in 2009.


Harvey is stepping back in to Rothko’s shoes having performed the role in 2012 at Stage 3 in Sonora. As he says, “There are always new things to discover about any character,” he says. “Rothko was a difficult man, his personality and his emotions are on full display. Getting to revisit the role has given me a greater perspective and helped me understand him in new ways.” Harvey has appeared in a variety of roles at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, American Blues Theatre Company, and Minnesota Repertory Theater as well as in California at PCPA Theatrefest, Capitol Stage, the Davis Shakespeare Festival, and Sacramento Theatre Company.


Thrilled to make his first appearance as Ken, a role he auditioned for multiple times, Michael is returning to his East Bay roots. He spent his early years in Danville where he got his start on the stage and he attended performing arts high school in San Francisco before heading to University of Minnesota. Michael participated in the actor training program as part of obtaining his BFA and since appeared off Broadway in productions with The Acting Company, as well as Drury Lane Oakbrook and other regional theater companies.  He is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.


Misty has worked as a director, choreographer, set designer and performer throughout the San Francisco Bay area for over 20 years including at the Bankhead Theater. Among her many directing and choreography credits are the 2015 Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre production of “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Bankhead, as well as “Evita,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Cinderella,” “Oklahoma,” and “Into the Woods.” She has appeared on stage in such roles as Val in “A Chorus Line,” Gloria Thorpe in “Damn Yankees,” Lorraine in “42nd Street,” and Virtue in “Anything Goes.”

Sets for the production will be designed by Carol Edwards with lighting by Eric Johnson.


Thu Oct 18 at 7:30pm

Fri Oct 19 at 8:00pm

Sat Oct 20 at 2:00pm

Sat Oct 20 at 8:00pm

Sun Oct 21 at 3:00pm


Hot Shows Added!

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Jake Shimabukuro, Robert Cray, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers (top), The Choir of Man (bottom), Keb’ Mo’

The 2018-2019 Season at the Bankhead just got more exciting! Our season is largely set by the end of May, but we jump on the opportunity to add great shows like these. There’s both returning favorites and artists completely new to our audiences.  The list includes two blues greats, the return of Robert Cray on February 10 and Keb’ Mo’, making his first appearance at the venue on May 14. Country music stars Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers bring familiar hits from their long career such as “All the Gold in California” plus the stories behind the songs on November 16.

Called the “ultimate feel-good show…90 minutes of indisputable joy,” The Choir of Man arrives February 17 with their rollicking concert set in a real working pub. The nine male band members sing, dance, and foot-stomp through music, from pub tunes, folk, Broadway, classic rock. All while pulling pints and inviting the audience to get up close and personal with the show.

Back by popular demand, ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro returns on January 29 on tour for his just released album “The Greatest Day.” The new release features some of his most adventurous works, both original and imaginative covers of iconic rock hits.  He’s sold out all five times he’s been at the venue, even the Bankhead’s inaugural year when he was largely unknown beyond his viral YouTube video.

Tickets for Robert Cray, Keb’ Mo’, The Choir of Man, and Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers are on sale now.
Member presale only for Jake Shimabukuro until October 8.


And don’t forget an earlier addition! The Mustangs of the West brings their fresh California Country sound to the Bankhead on October 26.  Started in Southern California in the early 1980s, the Mustangs have reunited and are ready to soar again. Bonus note — Suzanna Spring of the Mustangs is a Livermore local! Often seen at her studio, Dragonfly Yoga, Suzanna has been a Mustang from the very beginning, her guitar and vocals an integral part of their sound.  Hear their latest song T-Shirt from California here and read about Paul Jefferson who will be opening for them at the Bankhead.


Become a member now and you’ll hear about new shows first,
receive a 10% discount all year long, and other member benefits. 

*Tickets for all shows except Jake Shimabukuro on sale now. Member Presale for Jake Shimabukuro ends October 8.


Blues Greats Among Five Big Name Shows Added to Bankhead Season

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The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center announced that five shows will be added to the 2018-2019 Bankhead Presents season. Several blues greats return, including Robert Cray for the fourth time in February 2019 and Keb’ Mo’ for his first appearance in May. Country music stars Larry Gatlin and Gatlin Brothers arrive this November, while the incredibly popular Jake Shimabukuro returns to the Bankhead Theater in late January.

Let’s take a closer look at these shows.

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers

The first of the five additions is Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers on Friday, November 16. Since their debut album in the mid-1970s, the brothers have sent their country harmonies up the charts with such songs as the Grammy Award-winning “Broken Lady” and “All the Gold in California,” which won an American Country Music Award. Larry, Steve, and Rudy will swings through Livermore with an “Unplugged Show,” their natural family harmonies and genuine stage charm filing the theater with family country and gospel hits, as well as stories of how the songs developed.

Jake Shimabukuro

Considered one of the most innovative players in the history of the ukulele, Jake was relatively unknown when he appeared as part of the Bankhead’s inaugural season in 2007. His rich and varied albums have always captured the many moods of the ukulele. Released just a few weeks ago, “The Greatest Day” features some of his most adventurous work with half the album featuring original songs and the other half featuring imaginative covers of such iconic hits as The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and “If 6 was 9” by Jimi Hendrix.

Robert Cray

Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Robert Cray has been credited with attracting a new generation of fans to the world of blues with a distinctive razor-sharp guitar sound that ably bridges the lines between blues, soul, and R&B. With more than 20 acclaimed albums over the past four decades, including his latest “Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm,” Cray has received five Grammy Awards and built a dedicated following worldwide. We look forward to his return to the Bankhead Theater on February 10.

The Choir of Man

Set in a real working pub on stage, these nine male band members sing, dance, and foot-stomp through a range of music, from pub tunes, folk, and classic rock, all while pulling pints and welcoming audience members to interact with the show. The show truly is a party and concert rolled into one, featuring the music of Paul Simon, Adele, Queen, and others. Get ready for a brand new way to experience music on stage at the Bankhead this February.

Keb’ Mo’

Four-time Grammy Award-winner and roots storyteller Keb’ Mo’ is considered a modern-day standard bearer of the Delta blues tradition. His modern take on the country blues will now close the 2018-2018 season with a single performance on May 14. In addition to eleven Blues Foundation Awards and an American Album of the Year for his music, Keb’ Mo’ has also brought his broad talents into television and film for which he has won six BMI awards.

Ticket information

The performance date for Jake Shimabukuro has not been finalized but tickets for Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Robert Cray, The Choir of Man, and Keb’ Mo’ are available now for Member Presale. Tickets for these performances will be available to the public beginning September 26.

DLUX Puppets to Return to the Bankhead Twice in 2018-19 Season

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DLUX Puppets will return to the Bankhead Theater this season with two visually stunning and entertaining family shows. The multimedia retellings of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan” use state-of-the-art digitally projected scenery, high-quality life-sized puppetry, and actors, weaving in popular songs from past decades.

Keep reading to learn more about the group and these must-see performances.

About DLUX Puppets

Now a nationally recognized company, DLUX Puppets debuted their production of Alice in Wonderland in 2017, although the project was many years in the making. A multi-talented performer and former star in San Francisco’s long-running show “Beach Blanket Babylon,” DLUX Puppets’ founder Derek Lux has always been interested in puppets and has been actively designing and creating innovative puppets for nearly a decade.

“Alice in Wonderland” brings to life the classic tale of Alice’s journey through the marvelous world of the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts. In the productions, all of the characters Alice encounters are intricately engineered life-size puppets, hand-built and voiced by Derek. The show’s seven puppets, ranging in size from just two feet in height to over seven feet tall, each took between 100 and 200 hours to construct.

Each puppet is different from the others, both in the way they are built and in terms of style and scale. Some require Lux to step into a full harness to perform the puppet’s head and arms, or to fly the Cheshire Cat’s body through the air. The digitally projected scenery, created by Steve Axtell, helps tell the story with interactive images.

Alice is played by Lux’s wife, second-grade teacher Lauren Lux, who developed a performance activity kit to connect the “Alice Wonderland” production with Common Core literature standards and provide a STEAM focus through the art and engineering elements in the puppets. The show also incorporates a social-emotional aspect as Alice learns from the characters in Wonderland that her words, thoughts, and feelings are powerful and that she can change them to change her world in a positive way. A similar activity kit for “Peter Pan” is also in development.

The performances

“Alice in Wonderland” returns Sunday, December 30 for two performances, including one adapted for audiences with sensory-friendly needs. DLUX Puppets’ new production of “Peter Pan” will be presented at the Bankhead Theater on June 2, 2019. Tickets for both shows are priced at just $10 for students and $20 for adults.

After all performances, both Derek and Lauren Lux will be available in the lobby so members of the audience can take photos and see one of the puppets close up. In addition to the three public performances, DLUX Puppets will present additional shows for students from local elementary schools through a special arts education outreach effort, sponsored in part by the LVPAC Education Fund. For more information on school performances, please contact Kiran Guleria at

Don’t forget that we have a number of incredible performances on tap at the Bankhead Theater. Check out our events calendar and book your tickets today.

Upcoming Events

Fri 14

The Nutcracker

Fri, December 14 @ 7:00 pm
Organizer: Valley Dance Theatre
Thu 20

The Doo Wop Project Christmas

Thu, December 20 @ 7:30 pm
Fri 21

Irish Christmas in America

Fri, December 21 @ 8:00 pm
Sat 22
Sat 22

Love Actually

Sat, December 22 @ 7:00 pm

Call 925.373.6800 or email for tickets and information